New Systems Make Military Moves More Efficient
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jun. 15, 2010 With the busiest season for permanent-change-of-station moves under way, officials at U.S. Transportation Command are encouraging servicemembers to take advantage of new systems designed to make the process more convenient and efficient.
Transcom launched the new Personally Procured Move, or PPM, system to improve the moving experience for servicemembers who personally move their household goods on military orders, said Dolly Davidson, a change management outreach specialist at Transcom. PPM replaced the old “Do It Yourself,” or DITY, move system.
As with the legacy system, servicemembers using PPM can receive up to 95 percent of what it would cost the government to move their goods using a commercial carrier. They can hire a commercial mover if they choose, move some or all of their goods themselves, and pocket any savings they receive.
PPM is one of the improvements provided through another system Transcom introduced last year to process and manage household moves, the Defense Personal Property System.
DPS is a web-based management system for moving the household goods of military members and Defense Department civilians, Davidson explained. It automates many steps involved in military moves: pre-move counseling, scheduling, tracking, invoicing and claims-filing for household goods shipments.
This eliminates the need for servicemembers to schedule appointments at their base to arrange their household goods moves face-to-face, she said, allowing them to make arrangements anywhere, any time.
“In DPS, you can go in 24/7, you can counsel yourself, you can put in your shipment and move arrangements, and everything else is done automatically,” she said. “You can do it from your laptop, from your work station, even your living room couch. And you can also track your shipments online, too.”
In addition to convenience, DPS has shown initial cost savings to the government. That’s a big factor for the military, which spends about $2 billion a year for more than 550,000 household moves, Transcom reported.
With all these factors in DPS’ favor, Transcom officials are encouraged by the dramatic increase in its use since the Personally Procured Move rollout.
“The services and the servicemembers have definitely embraced it,” Davidson said. “[Usage] went up to about 50 percent right from the get-go.”
Now, with the legacy system expected to remain operational until December along with DPS,
Transcom is particularly interested in ensuring servicemembers are comfortable using the new system.
“We really want them to understand the advantages, and why it’s best for them,” Davidson said
Transcom officials encourage servicemembers to register their household-move experiences through a new online customer satisfaction survey found at http://www.move.mil. The results will be pivotal in helping the command select the best-performing companies for future military moves, officials said.